If you know the old LCD Soundsystem song, then you know what comes next. “New York, I love you, but you’re bringing me down.”
David and I took an ill-fated trip to New York over the weekend. Because of Knightley’s injury, we weren’t sure about taking the trip. I knew I needed to go for a work conference, but up until the last-minute, we were debating David staying home. We were convinced because my sister was able to watch Knightley, and she really thought David and I could use a trip away to clear our mind from all the disappointments of last week. That was very thoughtful of her, and we were really appreciative.
From the start of the trip, we knew the weather would be an issue, since our first flight was cancelled and Delta booked us on an earlier flight. We started the trip with a snowstorm, followed by the coldest temperatures I think I have ever felt, and finished up with freezing rain and more flight delays and cancellations coming home. It was clear, New York was rolling out the red carpet for us.
This is what cold and snow looks like in New York. It is beautiful in some spots, but inevitably turns into a disgusting foul mess that you hate trudging through on city sidewalks. The sludge on street corners is my favorite.
Because my conference was at the Hilton in midtown, we stayed at the Sheraton in midtown, and I questioned the sanity of tourists who claim to “love New York” when their central experience is hanging out around midtown and Times Square. If my experience with New York was based around Times Square, then I would hate that city with a fiery passion. It is the worst, and a snow storm and bitter cold can only make it worse.
Aside from that, we did manage to have moments that reminded me of how much I love New York. Working around my conference schedule and David’s work schedule, we managed to see some good friends and eat some good meals (We went to one hip downtown restaurant, PUBLIC; one good old standby favorite, Union Square Café; and one pre-theater Prix Fixe paradise on the Upper West Side, La Boite en Bois). When not thinking about the bitter cold, I remembered how I used to really love the city during the holidays when it is dressed in its finest.
We made it to Lincoln Center to catch the last performance of the New York City Ballet’s Nutcracker, which is the only Nutcracker I can stomach.
Finally, for David’s birthday, I made reservations at Union Square Café, so we could celebrate not only David’s birthday, but the exact spot in New York City where David and I met, now over ten years ago. We met at this spot in Union Square after I had finished eating a meal with Sarah and some of her friends at the Blue Water Grill. David had just taken the Chinatown bus up from DC, and he met us outside. So here we are now, ten years older and happy to have each other after having gone through all that we would have never anticipated on that warm August evening we met. Seriously, I would never have fathomed how things have turned out then.
Sometimes, we just need to take a minute and be grateful for each other, and it was nice to celebrate that on that cold night in New York.
I also was able to celebrate my gratitude for David on Sunday night trying to get a flight back to RDU from LGA. Our flight was cancelled, as were all of the RDU flights except two, one that left on time, and a second, that was supposed to leave at 2:30 but delayed until the time that our flight was scheduled to leave. David’s Diamond status ensured he able to get a spot on the flight (in first class too), but for me, it got me on the top of the standby list (which technically shouldn’t have happened, because the standby list was closed since the flight was a delayed departure). Thankfully, I made it on the flight, never having been so happy to get on a flight. Not only did I want to get back to boring, slow North Carolina to see Knightley, but I just wanted to be away from the city too. It turns out, you can’t escape from being sad just by changing cities. If I wouldn’t have been able to get on that flight, then I wasn’t confirmed on a flight until Tuesday morning. So yes, there are lots of perks to David having Diamond status (and gifting me gold), but the greatest one is not being stuck in the warehouse of human misery and suffering known as the New York City airports.